What is a Network Card?

Author cavsi Category: Networking Tags:

A network card also called Ethernet card, Network Adapter, Network Interface Card, or NIC. A network card acts as the interface between a computer and the rest of devices that forms the network. The purpose of the network card is to prepare, send, and control data on the network.


A network card usually has two indicator lights (LEDs):

  • The green LED shows that the card is receiving electricity;
  • The orange (10 Mb/s) or red (100 Mb/s) LED indicates network activity (sending or receiving data).

To prepare data to be sent the network card uses a transceiver, which transforms parallel data into serial data. Each network card has a unique address, called a MAC address, assigned by the card’s manufacturer, which lets it be uniquely identified among all the network cards in the world.

To ensure that the computer and network are compatible, the card must be suitable for the computer’s data bus architecture, and have the appropriate type of socket for the cable. Each card is designed to work with a certain kind of cable. Some cards include multiple interface connectors (which can be configured using jumpers, DIP switches, or software). The most commonly used are RJ-45 connectors.

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What types of Ethernet Card there are?

Ethernet cards are also known as network interface cards or network adapters. Ethernet cards are available in several forms:
ISA cards were the first standard for PCs, requiring users to open their computer case for installation

What is the function of a Network Card?

The primary function of a network interface card is to provide a physical link to a computer network. A network card is the physical interface between the computer and the network cable.

How to Enable or Disable a Network Adapter?

Network adapters can normally be enable or disabled through their software.  When a network connection suddenly stops functioning, disabling and re-enabling it can repair the problem.

How to install a PCMCIA Wireless Network Adapter?

Most laptops have wireless networking built-in. But if you need to install a wireless network adapter, check out the below instructions:
Insert the wireless card into the available PCMCIA slot of the laptop. There is no need to shut down the laptop.

How to install a USB Network Adapter?

A network adapter card is required to connect a computer to a network or Internet. Most computers have wireless networking built-in. Older computers may need to have a network adapter added to them before using them on a network. USB Network adapters can come in different models.

How to install a PCI Wireless Network Card?

A PCI wireless adapter card connects to a desktop computer’s PCI bus contained inside the computer:
Turn off the computer and unplugged it.

How to install an Internal PCI Network Adapter?

Some old desk computers may need a network adapter added to them before be able to access a network. To install and Internal Network Adapter follow the below steps:
Ensure the computer is powered down and unplugged.

How verify if a Network Adapter is working properly?

First of all if a Network Adapter has been installed and set up properly in a computer, this will have Internet access. For computers running Windows open the Windows Device Manager.

How to know if a Network Adapter is installed in my computer?

You may determine whether a computer already possesses a network adapter looking for an RJ-45 jack on the back of the computer. The RJ-45 jack appears similar to a phone line jack but is slightly larger.

How many types of Network Adapters there are?

A network adapter interfaces a computer to a network. It is typically a small unit of hardware and can be found in different forms as:
PCI adapters fit inside a desktop personal computer often called simply NIC

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